Eric Schmidt: Web 3.0 is the Future

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Eric Schmidt has claimed that Web 3.0 is of more interest to him that cryptocurrencies
  • The former Google CEO said that the next generation of the internet it is “very seductive”
  • Schmidt says that although not there yet, a decentralized web is coming

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has claimed that Web 3.0 is the future of the internet and that he only owns “a little bit” of cryptocurrency. Schmidt, who ran the computing giant from 2001-2011, told CNBC Make It that he always believed the future of the internet was in decentralization and that Web 3.0 has the potential to make that happen, although the infrastructure is not there yet. Schmidt has previously been supportive of the infrastructure of blockchain technology, although it seems that his support of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, has waned a little.

Schmidt Knew That “Decentralized Would be Everything”

Schmidt explained to CNBC how he remembered feeling at 25 that “decentralized would be everything.” Given that this was in 1980, Schmidt has had to wait a long time for his dreams to become reality, but he feels that with Web 3.0 they finally are…but it’s not there yet:

[Web3′s] economics are interesting. The platforms are interesting and the use patterns are interesting. [It] doesn’t work yet, but it will.

The idea of a decentralized internet was actually the vision of the creator of the Worldwide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who predicted that a smarter and more autonomous internet he called the ‘Semantic Web’ would emerge from the initial phases of the internet. This is now on the cusp of becoming a reality, with information being stored outside of central servers, instead being spread across the world over various nodes, making it hard to shut down and heavily censorship resistant.

Web 3.0 Taking Over Where Crypto Failed

In the interview, Schmidt opined that part of the problem with today’s blockchain technology, which he clearly feels hasn’t moved on as it should, is that the majority of time people spend on such systems is dedicated to “making sure that nobody’s attacking them … they’re incredibly wasteful.” It’s not clear if he’s referring to the levels of energy needed to secure proof-of-work systems, although he did use Bitcoin as an example.

Schmidt claimed as far back as 2014 that the Bitcoin architecture was “an amazing advancement” and that “lots of people will build businesses on top of that”. This didn’t happen, of course, which may explain why Schmidt turned his attention to Ethereum instead, saying in 2018 that Ethereum was a “pretty powerful platform” that could realize the power of blockchain. With his support of Web 3.0, which Ethereum has been home to in many ways, he is clearly still a fan of the project.